Asked by adriana0206
What perspectives need to be taken into account in order to find a...
What perspectives need to be taken into account in order to find a solution to the dilemma?
**Answer must be at minimum 150 words in length.**
A Monumental Dilemma
It is 4:30 a.m. and as promised, my guide and driver, Kim San, is waiting for me at the hotel
entrance. We had met the previous day to work out a sightseeing schedule for the week. He
insisted that I begin my tour of the Angkor Archaeological Park by watching the sun rise over
Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world.
I climb aboard Kim San’s motorbike, and we’re off. My heart races as we weave in and out of
the streets of Siem Reap, the boomtown launching point for millions of yearly visitors to Angkor.
In the darkness, the motorbike headlights reveal shadowy forms of men and women bustling to
set up shops and restaurants that will serve the waking hordes of tourists.
It’s a seven-kilometer drive to the main ticket booth to Angkor Wat. Kim San stops in front of a
large, modern complex, built to move large crowds quickly through the concession.
Climbing off the bike, I look around. “Kim San, you said this place would be packed, but there’s
hardly anyone here.”
Kim San smiles. “Many people wait to come until just before the sun rises. I have guided
journalists before. I know you want to have the best view, and that is why I brought you here
early. You will see, believe me. Here, you must take a flashlight or you will trip and fall. You must
purchase your ticket at the booth,” says Kim San. “I will bring water. Follow me.”
Looming in the distance, I sense the presence of Angkor Wat, although it lies nearly 2
kilometers away. Designated in 1993 as a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple was also a finalist
in the New Seven Wonders of the World competition in 2007. It is the best-preserved structure
in the complex of over 1000 temples known collectively as Angkor, the Sanskrit word for city.
Angkor flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries A.D. as the seat of the Khmer empire,
which ruled over parts of present-day Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Malaysia. It was
the largest preindustrial metropolis in the world, with a population of nearly one million and an
urban footprint roughly the size of modern Los Angeles. Since its founding in the 12th century,
the temple complex of Angkor Wat has remained an active religious center, first dedicated to the
Hindu god Vishnu, then re-dedicated to Theravada Buddhist use in the 14th or 15th century. It is
a source of great national pride and has been depicted on every version of the Cambodian flag
Kim San leads me to a ticket window. At this hour, there are more employees and guards
lingering about than tourists. I pay my $60 US fee for a week’s entrance to the park and am led
to a side room to have my photo taken for the pass. While waiting I do some quick mental
calculations. In my background research, I read that there were nearly three million yearly
visitors to Angkor. That’s $180 million US—a huge revenue source for a country with a Gross
Domestic Product of only about $10 billion US.
“Tickets are expensive, aren’t they?” I comment to Kim San as we make our way back to his
bike for the remaining 2-kilometer ride. “Angkor Wat brings in a huge amount of money to
Cambodia. I guess so,” he responds. “Cambodians get to enter for free, which is good, but no